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About 500 people blockade Phuket's main road north of the airport turnoff

UPDATE Phuket Fury at Rape Twins: 500 Neighbors of Pregnant Victim Blockade Phuket's Main Road

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

BY 6.50pm, traffic stretched back several kilometres. In the southbound lane, vehicles blocked the road as far back as the Tachatchai Checkpoint. Phuket's Police Commander was on the scene. Crowd leaders told him they wanted the twins there to apologise. The blockade was another example of lawlessness on Phuket and followed a similar blockade by Patong tuk-tuk drivers earlier this year.

Original Report

PHUKET: About 500 angry Phuket residents blockaded Phuket's main road from 4pm today in protest at the rape of a pregnant woman by twin boys.

The protesters blocked both sides of Thepkasattri Road and caused huge traffic jams north of the turnoff to Phuket International Airport.

The huge traffic jam is believed to have snared dozens of tourists heading for Phuket International Airport and minivans returning from outings and visa runs.

There is no telling what the angry residents would have done if police had gone ahead with a plan to have the 17-year-old boys reenact their rape of a 25-year-old woman on a dark north Phuket street on Saturday night.

Instead, the boys were this afternoon at the Family Court as proceedings began that are likely to see them held at Phuket Juvenile detention Centre in the Saphan Hin district of Phuket City.

As juvenile offenders, the pair cannot be named and are likely to receive a lighter sentence than they would have been given had they been a year older.

Officials were trying to negotiate with the angry crowd this afternoon. Many of the blockaders claimed to be neighbors of the woman who was five months pregnant.

Doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital, where she is recovering, were planning today to check on the health of her unborn baby. The woman broke a leg when the twins kicked her off her motorcycle,

But that didn't stop them robbing her and dragging her into the roadside bushes, where she says they raped her despite being told she was pregnant.

She managed to drag herself back to the roadway after the pair fled and alerted nearby residents.

Comments

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"The blockade was another example of lawlessness on Phuket". Interesting that sometimes blockades are commended here and other times not. 'Peaceful' protests in Bangkok are OK but not in Phuket?

To compare the feelings of people who have had a member of their community raped to that of the tuk tuk thugs is insensitive to say the least.

I so however feel that the presence of the 2 accused would have caused greater problems and a re-enactment, given that they have already confessed, according to some reports would not have achieved anything. Why the police would have even considered such an action is baffling given the tensions that are clearly running high in the area.

Posted by Mister Ree on April 23, 2014 19:17

Editor Comment:

As we've said often, every protest has to be taken on its merits. There are protests that have validity and others that do not. Today's protest should never have happened, and it should have been anticipated and hosed down before it disrupted Phuket's normal daily activities. The only insensitivity is in your mind, MR. There was no justification for this blockade or for the tuk-tuk blockade.

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thats a good sign that these charming young men will be dealt with swiftly inside the lockup ... well done to the 500 people coming out in support for this poor young woman ...

Posted by chris on April 23, 2014 20:10

Editor Comment:

Once again you've shown your tendency to support violence and lawlessness, chris. Shameful, really. There's no place for their anger or your foolishness.

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@ed: in regards your reaction towards Chris; is there a place for rapers in your tiny mind? Thugs that are able to do this have no rights of being in this world anymore. Leave them in the crowd, and let the majority have their say. In other words: get rid of them, but not in an easy way. Let them suffer, before they die. I have no respect for these thugs, whatsoever . They do not deserve forgiveness. Never!

Posted by Charles on April 23, 2014 20:36

Editor Comment:

I can see you lighting a fire under Joan of Arc or tying a hanging knot like a good KK member, Charles. Your kind of vigilante approach is abhorrent and prone to errors of judgement that execute the innocent along with the guilty. I'd prefer to let the justice system prevail, thanks.

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Pretty scary experience for a foreigner I have say. I couldn't understand why there was no police presence or some authority to take charge of what looked like a potentially volatile situation. Definitely our last trip to Phuket. We love Thailand but this isn't worth it

Posted by Anonymous on April 23, 2014 21:59

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Ever since the airport seizure in BKK people have realized that they can do pretty much anything they want as a mob with little or no fear of consequences.

Anyone with an axe to grind goes out to cause maximum inconvenience to innocent bystanders and authorities just sit idly by.

The police force is weak and unwilling to do their duty. Thailand has descended into anarchy.

These events are now so common in Thailand that they hardly make it into national news but the international visitors to Phuket will make sure it's seen and heard about around the world.

This is NOT what anyone wants on their holiday and it's inconceivable that the authorities continue to allow this to happen.

Your rights to protest stop where they start to infringe on mine. REGARDLESS of your gripe. Including the Suthep mob in BKK.

Posted by ThaiMike on April 23, 2014 23:12

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The PW Editorial team's hypocrisy on mob rule is astounding, but not surprising.

Posted by The Night Mare on April 25, 2014 10:54

Editor Comment:

We believe in change and we're against corruption. We also have nothing against public protest in the street as a final option when all else has failed. Please attend to your own massive failures of intellect and principle before falsely accusing others.

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They only do this in Australia if someone chops down a historic tree so the people protesting in response to a heinous crime is refreshing to see.

Posted by slickmelb on April 26, 2014 19:46


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